SALT LAKE CITY — The NCAA announced the field for each of its six gymnastics regionals Monday afternoon, and there will be a few familiar faces on the floor of the Huntsman Center when the No. 4 ranked and top-seeded Red Rocks host the Salt Lake City (West) regional on April 7.
First and foremost are the No. 9 California Golden Bears, who defeated Utah during the regular season and finished in third place at the Pac-12 championships.
“We’ve seen Cal more than once this year, so we certainly know the quality of that team,” Utah co-head coach Megan Marsden said. “They have really taken off towards the end of the season, and I think they are a team that is looking to knock someone off.”
The No. 17 Auburn Tigers, who finished in eighth place at the SEC championships, will also make the trip to Salt Lake City, with former Utah assistant Jeff Graba at the helm.
“I don’t know Auburn well, but they are a ranked team, and those are the teams that you have to watch out for,” said Marsden. “There are a little bit of Utah ties with Jeff, who was an assistant with us for four seasons, and they also have Corrie Lothrop (a former Red Rock and current Tigers graduate assistant) helping their program. It’ll be fun to have our dear friends back in the Huntsman Center.”
Other teams that will take part in the Salt Lake City Regional include No. 21 BYU, Stanford and Southern Utah.
Under control: At the moment, the Red Rocks are not concerned about the teams that they’ll face at regionals, rather they are focused on correcting mistakes from this past weekend's Pac-12 championship.
“We have a few things that we are trying to address, and they won’t have a lot to do with who we are up against,” said Marsden. “It is more about moving on and what that will take. We were a little disappointed in Pac-12’s, not hitting 24 of 24 routines.”
A pair of untimely falls contributed to the Utes' second-place finish in Tucson, Arizona, but also gave Marsden and the Red Rocks reason for optimism as far as their national title hopes are concerned.
“We came within a tenth and a half (of UCLA) even with some misses," said Marsden. “That should give our girls some confidence. If we can get this figured out, and get everybody hitting on all cylinders at one time, our upside is big. It is really big.”